“He asked, that when he wandered far from his dreams, his heart press him and sound the alarm.” -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist Today marks ten years since I arrived in Finisterre, Spain, at 'the end of the world', after walking 1000 km across the country along el Camino de Santiago. I'm feeling nostalgic and wanted to reflect some. I'm lost for words (as is usually the case when trying to describe certain experiences that mean so much), so I went back through some photos (taken on my first ever point & shoot digital camera - such cool technology at the time!). Thank you for letting me share them with you :) [caption id="attachment_4272" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-007 Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France - my starting point for the Camino.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4273" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-041 Ciraqui, Spain - adorable, quaint town along the Camino[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4275" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-064 This poem, painted on a wall along the Camino, perfectly expresses how I arrived in Spain, walking across the country, alone. "Pilgrim - who calls you? What hidden force brings you here? ...the force that pushes me, the force that brings me here, not even I can explain that... Only the one Above knows."[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4277" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-101 Cows, cows, everywhere there were cows. Love them all.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4278" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-166 Wind turbines. Don Quixote would have loved these.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4279" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-175 Walking through Foncebadon[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4281" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-281 There had been a fire along the Camino the month before I walked through - these trees had all been scorched, but new life was beginning to sprout already. It was peaceful, and healing.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4280" align="alignnone" width="1024"]camino-244 On the way to Negreira[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4282" align="alignnone" width="1024"]p1010161 First views of the ocean in Finisterre. During Roman times, it was believed to be the end of the world.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4283" align="alignnone" width="1024"]p1010235 Putting my feet in the ocean at the end of the world for the first time after 1000km on foot. Cold, but lovely. (photo credit Paul Dalebout)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4284" align="alignnone" width="1024"]img_6817 The last stamp in my credencial, 'pilgrim passport', on October 3, 2006[/caption] I returned to Spain in 2009 to walk another route of the Camino. It's calling me still, and I hope to be back soon. --- For Julie, who shared her chocolate with me and comforted me when I didn't think I could go on anymore. You are missed.